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True Freedom

Aim: To clearly explain the gospel of Jesus Christ

Core Competency: Humanity

Objectives: The children will

  • Understand that everyone is a sinner unable to earn forgiveness
  • Recognize salvation as a free gift from God
  • Receive forgiveness from Jesus and become His disciple

Key Verse: "They replied, 'Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved - you and your household." ( Acts 16:31 )

Story: "Prisoners set Jailor Free " ( Acts 16 )

Materials Required:

  • Iodine
  • Photographic Fixer
  • Water
  • Test Tubes, 2
  • Worn Out Items (Optional)
  • Declaration of Independence Photo (Optional)

Eye on Science:

(This lesson is particularly suitable for Independence Day.)

Advance Preparation (Optional): Prior to class, select several obviously worn out items - books that are falling apart, frayed shirts, etc. Fill one test tube or small jar with ½ full of water, the other ½ full of photographic fixer. Important: The jars or test tubes should not be reused to hold items for human consumption!

During Class:Show the worn out items (if you have them), and explain that everything on earth wears out. The Declaration of Independence (show photo if available) has been preserved by extraordinary means, including protection from light and storage in a helium-filled case (helium is a "noble gas" - it will not normally interact with anything else, and thus is useful for preserving organic materials such as paper). Despite these efforts, the paper is extremely fragile after only a couple of hundred years.

Our bodies also wear out. The average person now lives over 80 years, but the maximum age both in practice today and as set by God ( Genesis 6:3 ) is 120 years old. However, our bodies are only the container; we ourselves are made of soul, and the soul lasts forever ( Revelation 22:1-5 ). The most important question for every person here today is, "Where will my soul spend eternity?" Fortunately, you get to choose your eternal home. This is the choice that faced the jailor in today's Bible story. (Tell the story in your own words, or read it from the Bible and discuss.)

What was the "word of the Lord" that Paul told the jailor? It is the facts of life - eternal life. Let's review them together.

The first fact you must recognize in making a decision about eternity is that nobody is perfect. (Hold up test tube of water.) We like to fool ourselves by thinking that we're "good enough", like this water is "clear enough" to drink.

What we ignore is the fact of sin. (Hold up bottle of iodine.) This iodine is a deadly poison. When we disobey God, we poison our life with sin. (Add a drop of iodine to the water for each sin mentioned.) We may disobey our parents. We may laugh at a new kid in school. We may write the answer to a hard test question on our palm before a test. Does the water still look "clear enough" to drink?

We have all sinned ( Romans 3:23 ). And the price we pay for that sin is spiritual death, which is eternal separation from God (Read first half of Romans 6:23 ).

So how do we get rid of the sin? Perhaps if we do enough good things, we can overcome the sin and God will accept us. If we add more water to the test tube, will you drink it? Why not? The next fact is, no matter how much water we add, we haven't removed the poison. And no matter how many good things we do, we haven't removed the sin. ( Ephesians 2:8-9 ).

The best fact of eternal life is that God gave us a way to remove the sin - He sent Jesus! ( Romans 5:8 ). Jesus lived a sin-free life, then He died - since He had no sin to die for, His death covers my sin and your sin instead. (Hold up test tube of photographic fixer.) When we ask Jesus to forgive our sin and enter our life, He doesn't cover up the sin - He makes it disappear. (Add a small amount of fixer to the water; the iodine color should quickly vanish - see the animation below.) This results in life that doesn't wear out! (Read second half of Romans 6:23 .)

I should mention one additional thing on earth that doesn't wear out - God's love. You cannot sin too much for God to forgive you. He has already seen every sin before in other people ( Ecclesiastes 1:10 ), and He wants to forgive that sin, and every other sin, in you ( John 3:16 ).

Application Questions: Do you remember a specific point in time when you asked Jesus to wash the sin away from your heart? If not, will you ask Him today?

Used: KIDZ 02/97 , BSF-ALL 11/99 , KIDZ 08/01

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